US work­ing to es­tab­lish YPG state in north­ern Syria, Moscow says

Daily Sabah (Turkey) - - Politics -

THE UNITED States is seek­ing to es­tab­lish a quasi-state, which would be con­trolled by the PKK ter­ror­ist group’s Syria af­fil­i­ate, Rus­sian Gen. and Chief of Staff Valery Gerasi­mov said on Wed­nes­day, adding that the en­tity in ques­tion would be in­de­pen­dent from Da­m­as­cus.

“They [U.S.] are also form­ing a gov­ern­ment for the so-called Demo­cratic Fed­er­a­tion of North­ern Syria. The Amer­i­cans, that sup­port the Kurds’ sep­a­ratist sen­ti­ments by de­liv­er­ing arms and mil­i­tary equip­ment, al­low them to op­press Arab tribes,” Gerasi­mov was quoted as say­ing by Rus­sian TASS news agency. Gerasi­mov was re­fer­ring to the Peo­ple’s Pro­tec­tion Units (YPG), which re­ceived mil­i­tary and lo­gis­ti­cal sup­port from Wash­ing­ton, de­spite its links with the PKK, a group in­cluded on ter­ror lists by the U.S., Euro­pean Union and Turkey.

Ankara has long crit­i­cized Wash­ing­ton for its back­ing of the YPG ter­ror­ists, say­ing that de­liv­er­ing thou­sands of truck­loads of ar­ma­ments to the group is not in line with the strate­gic part­ner­ship be­tween the two NATO al­lies as the ar­ma­ment of the ter­ror­ist group poses a na­tional se­cu­rity threat to Turkey. The U.S. ad­min­is­tra­tion, how­ever, sees the YPG as its “most ef­fec­tive partner” in the fight against Daesh ter­ror­ists.

The YPG aims to es­tab­lish an au­ton­o­mous re­gion in north­ern Syria, which is also a threat to Syria’s ter­ri­to­rial in­tegrity. The group’s hu­man rights vi­o­la­tions in re­gions un­der its control have been doc­u­mented by in­ter­na­tional hu­man rights groups and also the United Nations.

While the U.S. sup­ports the YPG clearly, the EU has not stood against the group, de­spite its clear links with the PKK ter­ror­ist group.

TURKEY-RUS­SIA EF­FORTS CON­TINUE IN IDLIB

Mean­while, the ef­forts by Turkey and Rus­sia on main­tain­ing the cease-fire in Idlib, north­west­ern Syria, are con­tin­u­ing, For­eign Min­istry spokes­woman Maria Zakharova said on Wed­nes­day.

Zakharova added that while not all rad­i­cal groups have left the des­ig­nated 20-kilo­me­ter wide de­mil­i­ta­rized zones, Turkey con­tin­ues to ex­ert ef­forts to en- sure their with­drawal. The Sochi agree­ment was reached on Sept. 17 be­tween Pres­i­dent Re­cep Tayyip Er­doğan and his Rus­sian coun­ter­part Vladimir Putin. The deal es­tab­lished a cease-fire in the Idlib re­gion, the last op­po­si­tion strong­hold in Syria, on the con­di­tion of the with­drawal of heavy arms and ex­trem­ist groups from the re­gion. Prior to the agree­ment, the Bashar As­sad regime was sig­nal­ing an ex­pan­sive mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion in Idlib, spark­ing fears in the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity of a new hu­man­i­tar­ian cri­sis.

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